ISRAELI SOLDIERS FIRE ON, INJURE AMERICAN CITIZEN / By Mazin Qumsiyeh
SPECIAL TO CYRANO’S SHOWCASE
You Are There—
GANDHI’S PRESCIENT WORDS
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” –Robert Frost
(Reported from Occupied Palestine.) A good friend of ours, Tristan Anderson, a US Citizen, was critically injured yesterday (Friday, the 13th) and is in intensive care. Other friends at the scene reported that the Israeli soldiers were not in any danger when they fired new kinds of projectiles and other weaponry. Tristan was actually to the side and was hit while standing and observing the attack by the Israeli soldiers on the Palestinian and International non-violent and unarmed demonstrators. In the last 9 years, over 6000 Palestinians and several Internationals have been killed by Israeli occupation forces (including a 23-year old American student Rachel Corrie).
Of course, none of the killers will be brought to justice because they are occupation soldiers “doing their duty” (to colonize, murder and oppress). This week an Israeli court acquitted an Israeli French settler after he repeatedly stabbed a Palestinian taxi driver (24 year-old Tayseer Karaki) to death. The court claimed the settler was not guilty by reason of insanity despite the fact that even Israeli psychiatry experts who examined him after the incident ruled him sane and fit for trial. None of the 12-13,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails are able to claim the insanity defense: after 60 years of colonial occupation, apartheid, slavery and massacres, we are all judged to be very sane!
Action: Let us test if the new US State Department is more open to human rights than the old fascist state Department. Email them your thoughts. This link will take you to the state Department comment page http://tinyurl.com/c88y8d
Lest We Forget: Irony of the week:
Moshe Katsav, the Israeli ex-president, now charged with rape, once said:
“There is a huge gap between us and our enemies, not just in ability, but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away … these are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.”
(Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2001)
He is not the first or last Zionist leader to make racist statements about Palestinians. We have thus seen claims ranging from Palestinians hate Jews (“more than they love their own children”–Golda Meir) to describing us as “nonexistent” (Meir and others), or as “cockroaches” or “crocodiles” or “beasts” (various Israeli premieres and presidents!). This is not unusual for colonial powers (native Americans, for example, were described as “red-skins” and “savages”; Vietnamese opponents of American imperialism were “gooks,” “slopes,” and “slant-eyes”; Iraqis and Afghans are “rag-heads”). It is also typical of racists to project their actions and psychological ills (racism, bigotry, lack of moral fibers) onto their victims. Hence, AFTER Palestinians were literally pushed into the sea (ending up in refugee camps in Gaza and Lebanon etc), we heard the propaganda line that we are the ones who wanted to “push Jews into the sea.” And now, today, we see Jewish fanatics calculating 101 ways to transfer Palestinians out of Jerusalem to make it a Jewish city. It is just another step in transforming a multi-ethnic multi-religious society into a racist, Zionist construct that contradicts all norms of humanity (including international law).
The prophetic voice of Mahatma Gandhi comes to mind:
“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and in-human to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French. If the Jews have no home but Palestine, will they relish the idea of being forced to leave the other parts of the world in which they are settled? Or do they want a double home where they can remain at will? This cry for the national home affords a colourable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews…..And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart….” Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi (November 1938)
Action is the best antidote to despair. Action is the best tool for healthy living in unjust circumstances.
Action reminder: Use the excellent series of articles which appeared in The Lancet--a journal read by hundreds of thousands of physicians around the world–on health in the occupied, Palestinian territories. Send articles to media, journalists, politicians, doctors, healthcare professionals and demand that we treat Israel as we treated apartheid South Africa (with boycotts, divestments and sanctions).
(You may need to register free to access the journal for the first time.)
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, “a Bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home,” taught at Duke and Yale Universities and now teaches at Bethlehem University. He is the author of the book, “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle.” His website is http://qumsiyeh.org.
Who is Tristan Anderson?
AS REPORTED BY THE MERCURY NEWS, A BERKELEY (USA) NEWS OUTLET:
*Tristan Anderson, 38, of Oakland, was injured Friday evening while protesting construction of a separation barrier in the Palestinian village of Naalin on the West Bank, according to friends. An extended-range tear gas canister weapon fired by Israeli military forces hit Anderson, friends said, fracturing his skull and causing major trauma to his face.
He underwent surgery in Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv, to have part of his frontal lobe removed and remains hospitalized, although the friends organizing the demonstration said he responded to a stimulus test Sunday morning.
“He moved two fingers, so we know he’s not brain-dead,” Kate Raphael, a close friend, said.
He has lived in Oakland for several years, attended UC Berkeley and previously lived in San Francisco.
Raphael said he was one of the protesters who lived in trees near UC Berkeley’s football stadium to resist the university’s plans to tear down the grove so it could build a new sports training facility. He has been in the Middle East for about a month.
Raphael said he traveled to other parts of the Middle East before because he is interested in archaeology, but this is his first time in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
She said she expects Palestine solidarity organizations, Arab community groups and Jewish groups to attend a demonstration planned for Monday [3.16.09].